Bad Moon Rising…

Liliana is marched back down to her prison. It’s gotten cold and chilly, she notices, and her escort seems to be shivering. She is led to a different cell this time from before. A set of manacles and chains protrude from the wall. She offers token resistance as Gideon’s thug chains her up onto the wall, causing her to dangle just a few inches from the ground.

The guard leaves her. After a few moments of silence, Liliana hears a woman screaming out. She recognizes it as her cell companion from earlier. It sounds like Gideon may wish to play a similar game with her as Liliana can hear her being led through.

Meanwhile, Kall Horst and Eckhardt are galloping away from the watch. It’s a frantic gallop through the town as Kall tries his best to avoid bumping into others. A crossbow bolt comes flying across, narrowly missing them, and then another, although this one misses completely and hits a bystander!

Kall guides Belvar onto Maug street, and into the poorer parts of the town. He spots the Crosspike, but decides to look for a quiet corner somewhere to hide Belvar and dismount.

A street urchin comes over after noticing them, “Hey mister.. you getting chased?” “No…” comes a reply from Eckhardt. “Looks like ya are, tell ya what… couple of silver and I’ll keep ma trap shut, hows that?”

Eckhardt tosses the urchin a… GOLD CROWN!

It flickers at the urchins feet. His eyes go wide, and stares at it as if he’s in some kind of dream…

staring  –  GOLD!

The street urchin slowly picks it up. He looks at it, almost expecting it to melt in his hands. Kall Horst, meanwhile, is doing this…

Horst – Kall Horst

The urchin turns around, looking towards his friends on the opposite side of the street. He holds the gold crown aloft high in the air and shouts, “Gold! Gold! I’ve got a crown! I’m rich!”

Gold! – PRAISE THE CROWN! LONG LIVE THE CROWN!

The declaration from the young street urchin leads to this…

Urchins

They scurry over to Eckhardt and Kall, and surround them, while all the while shouting, “Please sir, can I have some more?” “Can I have a crown?” “Generous sir, please me ma an da are dead.”

Kall Horst seeing that this is a far more dangerous situation than being surrounded by the watch, says, “You can have more with that comes from if you go and fetch a Barber Surgeon, and tell him to come here?”

That got them interested… one of them says, “Don’t know any barbers sir, but Baumann might. He’s a friend, mayhap he help?”

Kall agrees, and they scurry away, following the kid who is possibly the richest street urchin in Bogenhafen, perhaps the Reikland. Eckhardt may have single handily changed the politics of Maug Street with a single act of generosity. Kall just glares at Eckhardt, and dismounts.

Kall suggests that Eckhardt go and wait with Belvar, around the corner so that it doesn’t look too suspicious. Eckhardt agrees.

Elsewhere, Borri and Godfrey decide to try and head for the east gate, hoping to make their way out of town and head south through the festival markets.

However, they spot a watchmen riding up to the east gate, and having a few urgent but hushed words to the gateguard. It worries them enough to change plan, and they instead head south along the inner wall.

Ulrico runs into a friendly face… “Ulrico, is that you?” he turns to see Ernst Steurmann making his way over.

The two get talking. Ulrico tries his best to lie to Ernst when Steurmann asks about how he’s doing and how the others are doing, and whether or not they’re enjoying the festivities. But telling lies does not come natural to Ulrico and Steurmann see’s right through him. Eventually Ulrico suggests that they go somewhere private to discuss whats been happening. Ernst agrees and they head back to there Berebelli.

There, Ulrico tells Ernst everything that has happened so far. Ernst is no doubt in shock, but not all that surprised that they’ve managed to get themselves into more trouble. He is particularly concerned about Liliana, and his nephew, Kall Horst. Ernst advises that Ulrico stay on the barge while he goes and tries to find the rest.

Finja tries to make her way onto the Adel Ring, so that she can warn Magirius about everything that took place at the Teugen residence. She fears that her rather brash and forwardness with Teugen may have put him in danger. But she gets stopped by a watchman, telling her that she can’t pass through. Finja is about to leave when she see’s Magirius approach, “She’s with me…”

The watchman stands aside and escorts them to Magirius’s residence. “There’s some murderers about Herr Magirius, best be safe than sorry.”

Once they get to the residence, they head on in and discuss in private about what has happened.

“I believe you’ve got some explaining to do good lady. I do not know the full details as of yet, other than that some sort of struggle went down at the Teugen residence. I trust that was not your doing?”
Finja tells him everything. What was discussed at the meeting and the fact that her companions had gotten in a spot of bother.

She also tells him that she went disguised as Magirius, but Magirius is bemused, “Disguised? As me? My good woman… Teugen may be old, but he’s not blind. Surely you jest… Look at me! It is quite impossible for you to go disguised as myself.”

Finja decides to show him, and puts on the mask, picturing herself as Magirius. Magirius goes pale, taking some steps back and faints, collapsing onto the ground.

Finja reacts fast and gets her brandy, pouring some down his throat. After a few more sips, Magirius wakes up, coughing and pale.

“I would never believe…” Finja comforts him and briefly explains the mask’s power to him.

Finja relates to Magirius that Teugen will no doubt be in a panic after what happened, and Magirius comes up with a suggestion…

“Perhaps we can gain an opportunity from this… I would hate to think all that needless blood spilled was for nothing. Teugen will no doubt be pre-occupied with taking extra cautionary measures. Perhaps while he is occupied, there may be a small window of opportunity to gain further information. I speak of course of his black book.. I’ve often seen Teugen write in it at our past meetings. I reckon he uses it as a diary of sorts, or for keeping records. It may contain vital information… I know he keeps it in his office, as I once saw him put it in a safe just underneath his desk. I’ve been desperate to find out what it contains…”

Finja agrees that this may be a lead, as they still do not know where or when the ritual will take place, other than sometime today.

But Magirius states that he must warn her, and asks that she be sworn to secrecy for what he tells he next…

“I’ve not been entirely honest with you my good lady. When you told me about Baumann’s sister missing, I had said I wasn’t aware of such a thing. That.. was a lie. You see, I had hired the services of Brinda, his sister, behind his back, without his knowledge… to sneak into Teugen’s house and steal his book. I had paid her 2 crowns in advance, with another 2 crowns upon completion and delivery of the book. Sadly… I was not aware of the risks at the time. I am no doubt to blame for her disappearance…
“So now that you know the truth my dear… are you willing to get the book? I am not entirely sure that Teugen will entrust me with the details of his meeting, perhaps he will, perhaps he won’t. Even if he doesn’t, I may have enough sway with the other members to cough it out of them. Even so, having his black book may prove vital to learning about his intentions.”

Finja is taken back somewhat by Magirius’s confession. She swears that she will keep his secret, and agrees to get the book. Magirius tells her that Teugen is likely to keep it in his offices. Finja asks that Magirius setup a meeting for Teugen at around 5pm, so to ensure that he isn’t at home at the time, but not to actually attend the meeting. Magirius agrees.

Finja sets off to try and find the others. She heads towards the Bee and Barb, hoping that some of them may have gone back there.

Meanwhile, the door to Liliana’s cell opens up. Gideons brute of a thug steps through, smiling through crooked teeth. He draws a dagger, and the man says in a menacing tone, “Hehe… You’re no longer Gideon’s pet. He has a new favorite… I’m gonna gut you. I’m gonna gut you and display your corpse in public for your friends to find.”

He steps closer with the dagger. Liliana spits down on him, and the man threatens to cut off her breasts first just for that.

He presses the dagger against her chest, yet… something odd happens. The chill in the air goes colder, and a pigment of frost starts weaving its way across the dagger, up the hilt, and onto the mans hand. He steps back, frightened and confused. Soon the frost makes his way across his body, freezing him entirely. Liliana is… oddly calm about it, but left with more questions to her predicament. She is not sure if this is a game or not, but she isn’t going to chance it.

Ice Man.

Her manacles are also covered in frost, and become brittle. She is able to break free. She takes a long icicle, or rather, Princess Stabby as she calls it, and finds it strange that the cold doesn’t seem to bother her…

She makes her way out and up the stairs cautiously. She finds herself in the same cabin as earlier where Gideon had his poisoned feast, but no sign of him. She strides over to a window and pulls aside the curtains. She can make out that its daylight, and that she appears to be in some kind of forest. She opens the window latch, and climbs out, barefoot with nothing to her name other than a robe and Princess Stabby.

Looking around, she is indeed in a forest of some kind, although not too far in. She notices a clearing up ahead, and beyond that, a wall. A wall! She recognizes it as the Bogenhafen town wall. She starts making her way towards freedom…

Kall Horst and Eckhardt are still waiting. There are no signs of the Urchins, possibly off buying new clothes and wondering what else to acquire with their new found wealth. After a few more minutes, Kall spots a suspicious man heading towards him, a black cloak and hood hiding his features. He approaches Horst, “You look worse for wear. Follow.”

Horst recognizes the man as one of Baumann’s, and indeed follows with Eckhardt following from behind.

They find the Crosspike to be locked up tight, but are soon let in. Horst brings Belvar in also, preferring not to have him wait outside.

Franz is none too please at this, but considers it the better option. “Well well… someones had an eventful day,” Baumann remarks. Baumann is not happy at all. He has heard about the blood bath at the Teugen residence, and demands that they explain what happened.

Horst is about to speak when they hear knocking on the door. “This is the watch! Open up! We know your in there!”

Baumann is alert and furiuos, “You damnable fools! You bumbling oaf! You led them straight here!”

The watch are now trying to kick the door down. Baumann heads over to the trap door that leads into the cellar, and without hesitation, begins climbing down along with 2 of his other men. Eckhardt joins him, but Kall Horst is unsure what to do. He obviously can’t fit Belvar into that cellar.

Finally deciding what to do, he strides over to the cellar, and closes it, putting a table over the top. Eckhardt shouts from below, “Kall! What are you doing?!?” “Don’t worry, I got this… I think.”

Eckhardt tries to open the door, but the table is blocking it. He gives up and decides to follow Baumann, who remarks, “Where’s that long-haired bastard at?”

Eckhardt shrugs, “He’s staying behind…”

“Probably for the best, it will slow the watch down at least.” Baumann seems pleased in fact at the news, and continues on, heading through the secret door in the cellar and into the sewers, making their escape.

Kall mounts Belvar and aims him at the door. He notices all the spent alcohol on the bar and a few bottles strewn about. The place is still a mess, and he has a plan… He decides to quickly and very hastily make an improvised explosive. Aka, the old flaming bottle method. He just manages to finish as the watch bursts through. He chucks it at them but in the panic, it misses them entirely, and hits to the side. A fire starts engulfing the bar. The watch don’t even hesitate, one of them fires at Kall. [GM Note] – Kall uses a Fate Point here to avoid certain death!

The bolt misses, and goes under Belvar, panicking the beast. Belvar charges through, knocking one of the watchmen aside and bolts out the door. Kall tries to control him and steer him south, but Belvar is having none of it, and heads north instead!

Godfrey and Borri are heading south from the north of town, and spot Belvar and Horst. Borri jumps at Godfrey, tackling the Bretonnian knight and pushing him out of the way as a bloodied battered Horst rides past them. “Byeeeeeeeee” shouts Kall.

Kall see’s the east gate, and tries to regain control of Belvar. He manages to do so and bolts through the gate, past the guard who didn’t have a chance to react, and makes his way along the road leading away from Bogenhafen.

But the adrenaline is too much for Kall… Bloodied, battered, not a chance to rest, he collapses on his horse, and the last thing he see’s, or rather, feels, is his body hitting the ground hard.

Liliana meanwhile… Is making her way to the town of Bogenhafen, having just reached the clearing. She can see the east gate now, and also… a rider, rushing out of the city as if foul creatures were at his heels, snapping as he went. Liliana is positive the rider is familiar… and then she realizes its Kall Horst!

She see’s him get further up, but then spots him slumping forward , and falling from Belvar. Belvar stops, and heads back towards Horst, licking his master’s face.

Liliana quickly strides over before anyone notices and starts dragging Horst towards the treeline. It’s a struggle, but she manages to get him in just as two riders make their way out of the gate. They look like watchmen…

Liliana searches Kall for anything of use, taking his boots for comfort and a cloak to wrap herself in. She finds a bottle of spirit, and pours some into his wound. Kall wakes up screaming in pain, but Liliana puts her hand to his mouth, muffling his scream. After he’s calmed down, she removes her hand and Kall says… “O… I’ve found Liliana.”

Back in town, Borri and Godfrey have recovered from their ordeal. Borri is shouting at a nearby gaggle of bystanders who saw what happened, “Did you see that? My master (referring to Godfrey and pretending) nearly got rundown!”

A few commoners approach, “Are you aright?”

Borri replies, “O I’m fine, I’m fine…” but they ignore him, and instead approach Godfrey, “Are you aright good sir?” Borri shrugs.

They manage to get one of the commoners to show them to a physician, although in reality they just want to get led somewhere safe, and in the process, with a good alibi should they get approached by the watch. Along they way they see smoke arising into the sky from where the Crosspike tavern would be. O no…

They get to the physician’s office, and after discussing what to do, and agreeing to head to the Bee and Barb, they do so, only after getting shooed out of the office by the physician in question.

At the Bee and Barb, Godfrey and Borri arrive and Godfrey is pleased to see that his horse, Hercules (yes, that’s his horses name) is recovered, although might be sometime before he’s at full strength, but at least he’s on his own legs now.

Finja arrives as well, seeing the both of them she approaches, just as she spots some watchmen raid the Bee and Barb inn, their former accommodation. “We need to go, now… away from here,” she remarks.

“Ahoy there friends, good to see you again!” someone says from behind. Ernst Steurmann approaches, and greets them. He tells them in a whisper to follow, and they make their way across town back towards the Berebelli barge.

Once they get there, they meet up with Ulrico. Finja fills them in what she’s learned so far. Ernst is aghast at the dark tidings she brings, but offers his help, as does Ulrico.

Finja suggests that Borri and Godfrey try and seek out Baumann, but the two are somewhat reluctant with the watch and their association with Kall Horst. Finja draws up a plan; Ulrico, Ernst and herself will head towards the Teugen offices and try to get this black book Magirius spoke off.

They set off, as Borri and Godfrey are on the barge. “So… what now?” asks Borri.

“Drink. I suggest we make good use of Ernst’s wine stock. We’ve no idea where Baumann is. His tavern is on fire and we’ve no leads, so I suggest we just… wait and drink.” Borri certainly agrees to that plan, and they both head back down in Steurmann’s barge and make good use of his ever dwindling wine stock.

Kall and Liliana meanwhile are watching the nearby two watchmen carefully. One of them is following a blood trail, Kall Horst’s blood trail. And is getting closer and closer, now only 30 meters out from where they are. He may have found them too, if it didn’t start raining… A heavy downpour starts, and the watchman is heard cursing as he struggles to find the rest of the trail. But with no sign of the horse or the trail going any further, they conclude that he may have gone further up the road, and mount their steeds and head out in pursuit.

Liliana lets out a sigh, and Kall falls back into a slumber. Liliana uses the last of his spirits into his wound, and Kall wakes up from the pain. Kall mounts Belvar with the help of Liliana, and Liliana mounts up from behind. “So, whats the plan?”

After some discussion on where east, west and south west lie, they head east, through the tree’s. Its not long before Kall spots 3 travelers on the road. They look like farmers, he reckons… An opportunity it seems in the twisted mind of Horst.  Liliana tries to discourage him, but gives up, and a verbal argument starts between them as Kall tries to reclaim his repeater crossbow from her. He does so, after much debate.

Kall rides up to the 3 travelers, and raises his crossbow at them. “Hands up…” They slowly raise their hands. “Please sir, we’ve not got much money on us, we are just heading to the festival, we don’t want any trouble.”

“I’m not after ya money. Start stripping…” They look at one another confused. “In this rain?” “Hurry up…”

They argue between themselves, and only when Liliana declares that Kall isn’t a patient man and is a bit of a loose cannon, do they strip. Liliana dismounts and takes her pick from the offerings. She manages to find a pair of dirty looking boots that just fit, and a plaid shirt and some trousers. She looks like a proper tomboy now.

“Here, for your trouble…” Kall throws them 30 shillings, and the farmers look on confused as Belvar departs with the two riders.

They head south-west now on the outskirts of the festival, and down towards a hedge. Kall dismounts, and pretty much hits the ground within the hedge for cover, resting. “You better seek help, or I’m going to die out here…” he remarks to Liliana. Liliana goes to the nearby festival. Most are shutting up shop as it is the last day of the festival. She notices through a gap in a nearby tent a man with bonesaw, operating on a mule. Well, he’ll have to do, she thought. She approaches the man, “O sir, o kind sir. Please, please help me. My brother got ambushed by some bandits on the road. He’s in a bad way sir, really bad. He needs your help, please sir please help.”

Liliana puts on a good show pleading with the man, and the man reluctantly agrees, fetching his bag and follows her out to the field.

“Bandits you say? Have you alerted the watch?”

“O sir, we’ve not had the chance. They just ambushed us. I was lucky to survive, but my brother, he’s in a bad way sir.”

“Such fiends they are. The roads are getting far too dangerous for innocents these days.”

They find Kall lying in the ground, unconscious. “You were quite right… this man is near death, I will need to operate right away.”

“Thank you sir, thank you for your kindness…”

The man starts cleaning out Horst’s wound with disinfectant, and then starts applying his trade to Horst’s leg. He manages to treat Kall’s leg and stitches it up, saying, “He will need further aid. I’ve done all I can, but I suggest this man get seen to right away by someone in town. I may also suggest that you alert the watch right away.”

Liliana hugs him, and in the process, sneakily snatches a bottle of disinfectant from his bag.

Once the surgeon left, Kall Horst begins to regain consciousness, and to his surprise, he notices that his leg is stitched up. He doesn’t thank Liliana however, and its not long before the odd couple begin arguing again.

Eckhardt meanwhile is journeying through the sewers, following Baumann. They soon arrive at a dead end. Eckhardt notices a symbol on the wall, bearing two crossed fingers with an x underneath it. He presses firmly into it, crossing his own fingers, and the wall begins sliding apart. They step into a secret den…

“How old is this place?” Eckhardt asks.

“O, fairly old… Not many know about this place, I would say just myself and my sister. It’s been long abandoned, and for good reason.”

“Why?”

“O… rumors and such, perhaps its best you don’t know.”

Eckhardt presses the issue, and Baumann tells him that the place used to be a den of Slaanesh worshipers, if you believed that sort of stuff. Baumann’s knowledge on Slaanesh is near non-existent, other than that he knows the cultists themselves revelled in debauchery, forbidden orgies and other foul pleasures. They were driven out and dealt with, and not long after, the Thieves guild took the place over. Since Baumann took charge, they’ve abandoned it and used the Crosspike instead.

Baumann also belittles Kall Horst in the presence of Eckhardt, telling him that if the man is dead, then that’s one less problem for Baumann. Baumann goes on to tell Eckhardt about Kall’s infamous incident at the bathhouse involving stealing some garments, and pouring shit over two nobles. Baumann is spitting venom now when he tells Eckhardt that Thadeus Stengel, a powerful noble who Kall Horst made an enemy of, is making trouble for Baumann.

The fight at the Crosspike tavern earlier when Baumann’s men turned on him was a result of Thadeus Stengel turning one of his men against him, and promising him wealth and power. This man was Kristoff Kohl, the newly promoted watch captain who used to be Baumann’s man, until Stengel convinced him to turncoat. Now Baumann is dealing with the fallout of Kall Horst’s activities.

Eckhardt doesn’t know whether to believe Baumann or not, since Kall isn’t here to defend himself. Baumann replies, “Just put your ear to the ground and you’ll have no trouble getting the truth…”

Elsewhere, Finja, Ulrico and Ernst are scouting out the Teugen offices. Finja goes around back, readying to put on the mask. She does so, and disguises herself as Johann Teugen. Ernst is shocked at what he sees, but quickly regains his composure. Enough has happened to him that he’ll believe anything at this stage.

They keep watch for the real Teugen as Finja makes her way to the office. Entering, she is greeted by the a servant of Teugen at the front desk in the reception area. Finja manages to talk the servant in delivering a message to Magirius, and getting him to leave.

He does so, and Finja begins searching the place. Finding no safe, she goes further into the office and see’s two rooms, one to her left, one to her right.  She goes right first, and tries the door… its locked.

Then… she hears something. The sounds of a lock being turned, and the door swings open… Her mask begins to glow and Finja could feel the heat of the mask on her face. She doesn’t know what to make of it, but she gets a very bad feeling about this…

She goes around and see’s several parchments of paper on Teugen’s desk, with fresh ink nearby.

FullSeenLetter

Interesting… Was Teugen preparing to send these out to the Inner Council members?

She also notices a safe, and strangely enough, its open. Indeed, a black book resides within it. She takes one of the parchments and takes the black book, that has a metal lock clasp on it, and makes a hasty retreat. The door to the other side of the room opens up, and a man that Finja swears she’s seen at the Inner Council meeting steps out.

franz_steinhager

“Teugen?”

Finja makes no delay in trying to talk her way out of getting into a discussion. But the other man finds her behavior odd and strange, but eventually he relents and heads back into his office.

Outside, Ulrico and Ernst spot a young man that they don’t recognize making his way to the office.

Gideon – Gideon!

He is just making his way up to the doorway when Finja, still disguised as Teugen, leaves. She sees him, but doesn’t stop, and instead walks straight past him. As she does, Gideon says, “She’s dead you know… Your little bag of tricks can’t save you. I’ll be watching…”

A cold shiver and a sense of dread makes his way up Finja’s spine… She continues on, and makes her way away from the office as Gideon heads into the office.

Meeting up with Ernst and Ulrico, Finja remarks how she swears that whoever that man was, he could see through her… and she got a very bad feeling about him. They continue on heading to Magirius’s residence.

Once there, he sits down for a private discussion with Ulrico, Ernst and Finja.

Finja first recounts her encounter with the strange man outside Teugen’s offices, and describes him in detail. “That sounds like Gideon, Teugen’s supposed cousin… but I know he has no such cousin by that name. I’ve only met him once but he gives me the creeps.”

Finja shows him the book and Magirius’s face lights up, “You’ve found it! Good good… hmm its got a clasp. No worries, I can handle that.” Magirius draws his dagger, and after some struggling, manages to break the metal clasp.

He opens the book… and begins reading.

The man goes pasty white as he continues reading, and his hands begin to shake… He passes the book onto Finja, but since she can’t read, she passes it onto Ulrico to read.

Teugen's Diary

The diary entry is a chilling one… It appears Teugen has made some kind of binding pact with Gideon. It alludes that Gideon is far more dangerous than one might think, and his plan involves a ritual at midnight. Not only that… there isn’t just one sacrifice, but Teugen and Gideon plan to sacrifice all the members of the Inner Council present for the ritual. The other members think its a ritual to get rich beyond their means, yet… Gideon plans to feast upon their souls, and Teugen plans to regain his freedom from it.

Dark reading indeed… Ulrico finishes telling the tale, and their is an eerie silence at the table as this sinks in.

Then suddenly, the book erupts in flames! A cold menacing dark tone of laughter erupts within the room… “We should leave…” they say, but they find themselves still sitting there, hesitant. Is it fear that holds them down?

The laughter continues, and then glass starts smashing throughout the mansion. That got them moving…

They run out the door. Ernst first, Ulrico next, then Finja. Magirius would have been next, had it not been the door slamming shut just as he was to make his exit. They turn around expecting to see Magirius, but instead hear him knocking on the door… “Let me out!” he shouts.

They try the door, but it won’t budge… The knocking soon stops, and then silence.

Blood starts pooling from beneath the door, and down the marble steps…

They run out of the gardens, and don’t look back.

All the while, Morrslieb continues to hang low over the town. Nightfall is only around the corner, and a bad moon rises…

Morrslieb

Bad Moon Rising…

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